Monday, January 22, 2007

I have been hankering after some hand quilting lately, and wondering if perhaps I can set up my big quilting frame in one of the enclosed verandahs. I can really see the results of my months of downsizing, and there are three places where I could set up my 8' long frame and not be in anyone's way. Once the weather cools down somewhat (none of these places are in the A/C unfortunately) I may dust off all the timber pieces and see what can be done..

The top that I would quilt is this one, a scrap Bowtie that is about 6 years old. I enjoyed everything about this quilt. It was a breeze to mark the pieces as they were large and there were only two simple pieces. I could get the pieces out of a charm square so I had a lovely selection of material to choose from. All I needed was three fabrics that looked nice together, so easy to make decisions like that. I never let myself have a moment of grief about this quilt, which is different from some of the others I've worked on.

I love the way it turned out, and even though it's not quite big enough for our current bed I would like to use it as a folder at the bottom of the bed. I love the look of one quilt covering the bed, and others folded at the foot.

And incidentally, this is my hanger arrangement for the tops that are next in line for quilting. The rod is metal curtain rod that I cut into lengths wide enough to fit in my closet. Then I run a piece of woven tape through it, tie a loop in each end and hook them over a coat hanger. It's strong enough to hold the quilt top and the backing, and I get great satisfaction from looking at my row of neatly organised projects. They stay wrinkle free and accessible till I get round to quilting them.

I am loving the Australian Open coverage, can't get enough tennis. Which is very odd, considering that I hate, hate, hate playing the game. We were MADE to in our teens, and no amount of crying, complaining or sulking would change Mum's mind. It was a Healthy Outdoor Activity, it would teach us the value of competition, make us fit, give us Team Spirit, solve all our problems and bring World Peace.

To us it was a wicked wicked waste of Spring and Summer Saturday mornings. Instead of doing our favourite thing of biking around all the stables and farms to visit horses and friends we were stuck on an asphalt tennis court, in thin-soled sandshoes and towelling hats, with tiny outgrown dresses that showed our knickers when we ran. Sometimes the temperature on those courts was over 40 degreesCelcius, or 100 F. On one memorable occassion my shoes melted.

But we were surrounded by impossibly determined mothers and their odious children, all slave to the great god 'Sport'. They never called it a day, even when we were sunburnt and heat-stroked and dancing on the spot because of the heat coming off the ground.

Even more unfair was the 40 cent ball and court fee we had to hand over. Do you have any idea what two hot and thirsty teenage girls could have done with 40 cents in those days? It killed us to have to part with that.

I found it all slightly terrifying, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the only thing it ever taught me was not to do something you don't want to and don't have to.

Eventually we developed something we called Suicide Tennis. We just never even took a swing at anything, just plodded from side to side as the score mounted. Serving was a whack into the nets. Our opponents would be beside themselves with rage, screaming for their mothers to MAKE us play properly. But no-one could. On a good day we'd be over and done in an hour, and then be off to visit one of our favourite farms, or the abandoned brickworks where Meredith would sketch and I would write in my diary. Mum would be at home, thinking Good Healthy Thoughts about us, and we'd be completely happy again, except wishing we still had the 40 cents....

Eventually Mum gave in, and let us stop going, and attributed every fault of ours in later life to not having played Sports! Whatever. I'll take the Wimbledon coverage anyday over actually having to walk onto a court again.


mereth 1:46 PM  

Oh dear, this still makes me laugh. And I could never understand what the other girls were complaining about. "It's not Fair!" they'd wail, but they were winning weren't they? Why couldn't they be happy with that? Because it wasn't 'sporting' I suppose, and they couldn't imagine our total lack of enthusiasm for something they adored.

And the only thing it taught me was that you can lead someone to a tennis court, you can dress them in the right clothes, you can stick a racket in their hand, but you can't make them care!

Carol E. 2:19 PM  

Love your tennis story and how you got out of doing it! Where there's a will, there's a way.

Anonymous,  3:48 PM  

Your young tennis days sound like a nightmare! Why do mums do this to us LOL. One of my favourite patterns is the bow tie, and yours is just gorgeous. I like the hanger idea - much better than a normal hanger which bends and breaks :-)

Joyce 12:15 AM  

Wow, your tennis adventures sound exhausting. It must have been fun to see the keen opponents in a rage though. Lol. I feel the same about sports. We had to play baseball in school and I could never throw, catch or hit with the bat. Needless to say, I was always last chosen. I'd rather be quilting.

Sheila 12:21 AM  

I love posts that tell a story and create a picture in my mind, and this one sure fits the bill. I got such a giggle from it.

Love the quilt and your hanging system too... very clever.

meggie 8:15 AM  

Loved your story about sports- I'm with you, but I was so anti, I dont even watch!

Would much rather quilt, read, --anything.

mereth 9:04 PM  

The thing I learned was that you can put someone on a tennis court, dress them in all the right clothes, stick a racquet in their hand, but you can't make them CARE!

Helen 8:10 AM  

I love this quilt top. It is great doing a quilt that is no stress. I, too, am hankering after some hand quilting but have nothing suitable ready to be hand quilted! Perhaps I should try a whole cloth approach. Your hanger arrangement is really clever.

Tracey in CT 1:53 PM  

Your tennis story is great, suicide tennis sounds like something I would have done! With me it was, you can make me take piano lessons, but you can't force me to do it well...

Your hanger is very clever!

molly 3:54 PM  

What a stunning quilt! And I love your tennis story. I used to peddle all the way to the other side of town to play tennis in the summer, I loved it so much, but that takes nothing away from my appreciation of your mulish rebellion! The thing I was forced into was Irish dancing----oh, how I hated to go to those classes, even though, in later years, I loved it....

Shelina 5:13 AM  

Oh my gosh, your sports story is hilarious! I love this quilt. It is so beautiful.

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